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Drug Makers Create Program for Poor

April 06, 2005|From Associated Press

Drug manufacturers, under fire from consumer advocacy groups for opposing legislation to reduce prescription costs, announced Tuesday that they would spend about $30 million through June to develop and promote a program that would help poor Americans gain access to the medicines they need.

Throughout the country, hundreds of public and private programs already provide some assistance to consumers who can't afford their prescriptions. But finding out about the programs and accessing them can be a daunting bureaucratic task for doctors, let alone consumers.

The new program establishes a website and calling centers to match consumers with the program that best suits their needs. The drug manufacturers' partnership is spending $10 million to promote the campaign.

In addition, more than $20 million will have been spent developing the program and running three call centers through the end of June, the program's organizers said.

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